Understanding and Reporting Identity Theft
WHAT IS IDENTITY THEFT?
Identity theft is the unlawful use of an individual's personal identification information. Identity thieves steal information such as your name, social security number, driver's license information, or bank and credit card accounts and use the information to establish credit, make purchases, apply for loans or even seek employment.
Types of Identity Theft
Types of identity theft include criminal, medical, and financial identity theft. In criminal identity theft, a criminal misrepresents himself as another person during arrest to try to avoid a summons, prevent the discovery of a warrant issued in his real name or avoid an arrest or conviction record. In medical identity theft, someone identifies himself as another person to obtain free medical care. In financial identity theft, someone uses another person's identity or information to obtain credit, goods, services or benefits. This is the most common form of identity theft.
Synthetic identity theft is a type of fraud in which a criminal combines real (usually stolen) and fake information to create a new identity, which is used to open fraudulent accounts and make fraudulent purchases. Synthetic identity theft allows the criminal to steal money from any credit card companies or lenders who extend credit based on the fake identity.
High-Tech Identity Theft
Identity thieves increasingly use computer technology to obtain other people's personal information for identity fraud. To find such information, they may search the hard drives of stolen or discarded computers; hack into computers or computer networks; access computer-based public records; use information gathering malware to infect computers; browse social networking sites; or use deceptive emails or text messages
Reporting Identity Theft
Once you suspect identity thieves are at work, quickly organize all the relevant information in your possession. Your records will support you in conversations and are invaluable if you need to call an identity theft and credit reporting lawyer. Make copies of original documents. Write down the names of people you talk with and make notes about the conversations.
Other important steps to take when you fear your identity has been stolen include:
Placing a fraud alert on your credit report with all three credit bureaus
Disputing/closing any fraudulent accounts with any company that has opened an unauthorized account.
Disputing any credit reporting information relating to the fraudulent accounts with the credit bureaus.
Contact a Trusted Identity Theft Attorney Today!
With all that, it can take years for identity theft to be unwound. You may need help to navigate your relationship with law enforcement, credit bureaus and government agencies. Contact The TARIQ LAW FIRM, PLLC at (718) 674-1245 or through our online contact form to make an appointment to discuss your situation.